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Thursday 7 February 2013

Michael Gove – You’re Fired

[Update at end of post]

He was talked up by every clueless pundit that could be mustered from the ranks of those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet, and, more importantly, by Himself Personally Now. He was going to bring a revolution of Very Wonderful new syllabi, new examinations and higher standards, whether the rotten lefties and their union pals wanted them or not.

Pupils were going to learn about what was really important – well, to the newspaper owners and editors, anyway. After all, they and the punditerati knew what was best, because, well, they did. Opposition would be trounced as this brave new educational world swept all before it. Resistance would be useless. Tomorrow belonged to him. No longer would they sneer and laugh.

Less than a week after his pet thugs were caught misusing taxpayers’ money on Twitter smear campaigns, Gove has performed the most humiliating U-turn of this Government. And it’s not as if there was no competition for the honour. So what has been ditched? Well, you remember that much heralded commitment to get rid of the GCSE? It’s not going to happen.

That’s right: the central plank of the Gove education reforms is dead. Really dead. Norwegian Blue dead.

There is plenty of lame spin being applied to make smoke and confuse the enemy, with some bleating about “it’s only a tweak, and assertions that other reforms really will go ahead, honestly. But what we have here is a Minister ruthlessly politicising his department, with the pretence that this would cut through civil service inertia and get things done, and showing the idea doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, the people who actually matter – pupils and their families – were being used as political cannon fodder in a game of braggadocio and brinkmanship as Gove and his bully boys, aided and abetted by an ignorant yet partisan press, attempted to trample their way over any dissenting view in order to impose their New World Order, and tough titty if the reality was worse than what we have now.

Fortunately, wiser heads have ultimately prevailed. So in the meantime, after the fog of this particular battle has dispersed, perhaps Young Dave can do everyone a big, big favour before any more education reform even gets considered.

And that favour is to tell “Oiky” Gove that his services are no longer required – and that, while he’s at it, he can take the retinue of hired thugs with him after he clears his desk.

[UPDATE 1755 hours: the cavalry from the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs has attempted to come to Gove's rescue, but all that it can muster is yet more spin, much of it characteristically lame.

Ed "case" West blusters about "What's really gone wrong with our education system", and tries to suggest that we should "look over there" at Antonio Gramsci, E D Hirsch, and anyone else he can think of. Large chunks of text are copied and pasted. The exercise is less than successful.

James Kirkup warns "Only a very brave observer would write off Michael Gove". Maybe. Or maybe it will be an Observer with a big O. Readers are assured that this is a "rare" setback for "Oiky". "Mr Gove and his friends have ... determination, in spades ... their chances still look good" he whistles hopefully.

But the biscuit is well and truly taken by the loathsome Toby Young, spinning furiously "Michael Gove's 'U-Turn' on GCSEs is a necessary tactical retreat if he's to win the education war". Whatever you say, Tobes. Yes, it's a "modest compromise". Then he goes rambling off into numbers of GCSE subjects, reassuring himself that exams will still be more "rigorous", while not telling how this can be achieved if you only have a three hour exam and no coursework to cover the same ground.

And Nick Clegg's oppostion isn't really important. And it's just the mark of a "mature politician". Yes Tobes, one that is so grown up that he uses a coterie of bully boys to do his dirty work for him. That's so mature that it's starting to leave a very nasty smell. My previous analysis stands unaltered]


Anonymous said...

if only, tim. if only.

Philip said...

Gove won't get fired, for the same reason Churchill didn't get fired in spite of his hare-brained incompetence in various Cabinet posts: better to have him fucking up inside the Government than fomenting a Putsch on the back benches.

rob said...

Well, if it's true that Rupe only backs winners.............